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It’s 1842. 14-year-old Jennie Lawrence has been found guilty of stealing, and finds herself aboard one of the few women-only convict ships destined for Australia.
Jennie had been desperate – and, as she gets to know the other women on the convict ship – she realizes she’s not the only one. Many of the women she gets to know were trying to survive, and feed themselves and their families, before they were caught and sentenced to Australia.
It’s clear from the moment the ship sets sail that the conditions aboard are abhorrent – women are sea sick and ill from the lack of good food and water, they are beaten if they disobey orders, and sleep brings no reprieve – as bed bugs, rats, and other parasites attack them in the night.
The only way for the women to survive the boat ride is if they band together. And so, with the help of her new “family” - Sarah, Bridget, and Alice - and other convicts, Jennie battles the jailers, the ship, and the sea. But will it be enough to set them free?